“Historians may credit Mussolini with inspiring Hitler’s rise to power, but the despot called a different contemporary his ‘shining star,'” writes William O’Connor at Daily Beast:
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Adolf Hitler’s obsessions, for he was a man prone to unhealthy fixations, were dangerous for the world—whether with himself, with art school, with his dreams of grandeur, with Eva Braun, with his hatred of Jews—or, more obscurely, with Turkey.
To say that the roots of the Third Reich’s rise have been thoroughly examined would be an understatement. Yet one element of Hitler’s power grab has largely been neglected—the importance of Turkey and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (or as Hitler called him, his “shining star”) on the Führer’s thinking.
In his exhaustively researched new book, Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination, Stefan Ihrig charts the outsized role that Atatürk and the New Turkey played in the minds of Germany’s Weimar-era far right—an influence that extended through the Nazi years.